JSPL scraps $10bn Angul project

New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power today said it has scrapped plans to set up a USD 10 billion coal-to- liquid (CTL) project at Angul in Odisha following the recent cancellation of Ramchandi mine by the Supreme Court.

“The CTL project was linked with the coal block. If the coal block is gone, then the project is gone,” JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal told PTI in an interview.

JSPL was allotted Ramchandi Promotional Coal Block, with an estimated reserve of 1,500 million tonnes on February 27, 2009 for the project.

The USD 10 billion project was supposed to produce 80,000 barrels per day of crude using German firm Lurgi’s technology.

The project cost also includes setting up of a 1,350 MW power plant and mine development expenses.

The project, only the second of its kind in the country, was aimed at enhancing energy security by reducing dependence on imported crude, JSPL had said in an earlier statement.

The plan to do away with the project comes after the apex court had in September cancelled 214 of the 218 coal blocks to various firms since 1993 terming it as “fatally flawed”. The cancellation also included Ramchandi mine allocated to JSPL.

The government has decided to auction the de-allocated coal blocks. The first lot of blocks will go under the hammer start on February 11 and mines will be allotted only to the specified end-users.

JSPL, which was on the worst hits with the cancellation of coal blocks, had earlier said it would bid for the blocks.

The company was allocated six blocks during the period.

The proposed CTL plant site was selected keeping in mind availability of land and water, rail and road connectivity, located around 70 km from the Ramchandi Promotional Block.

Jindal had earlier said companies that have successfully developed these blocks and large end-use projects after facing several years of land acquisition challenges, clearance issues and risks, need to be rewarded and encouraged.